Whitesburg KY

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



July 2, 1959

Have you had your polio shots? And your booster shot? Dr. R. Dow Collins, Letcher County Health Officer, warned this week that Virginia, which had a polio epidemic last year, has reported a large number of cases already this year — in the same area which suffered in the 1958 epidemic.

The congregation of Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church this week purchased the home of Mrs. T.R. Collier for use as a manse.

Woodrow Dawahare, secretary-treasurer of Dawahare’s Inc., will be installed as president of the Whitesburg Rotary Club at the group’s meeting Tuesday.

A new contract between the Wardrup Packing Co. at Blackey and its union workers was signed this week, according to J.B. Hensley for the company, and “Smitty” Wheatley, agent for the union.

July 3, 1969

The Kentucky River Development District Board of Directors voted this week to allocate $435,000 toward development of a housing factory in Letcher County.

The Glo Coal Mets have assured themselves of the Whitesburg Little League Baseball Championship through a 7-6 win over the VFW team. The Mets were led all year by their fine first baseman, Bill Martin Collins. The team is coached by William Floyd Mercer.

We hereby relay a challenge from one old timer to another. George N. Hale, a Letcher Countian born in 1886, hereby challenges Pearl Dixon of Blackey to a footrace on July 4th.

Tomatoes are 29 cents a pound at the A&P food store. Jane Parker potato chips are 59 cents for one pound.

July 5, 1979

A group of German investors, acting through a Louisville agent, is financing a major new coal development in the Rockhouse area of Letcher County. Construction of a unitrain tipple loading facility and a coal washer is scheduled to begin on Big Branch of Rockhouse Creek in Letcher County within the next couple months.

The Letcher County Health Department began the new fiscal year Monday as an independent department with management and administration being handled on a local level by the newly-appointed administrative assistant Jim Brashear.

Floodwaters were reported in the upper end of the county Wednesday afternoon following a night of rain and a sudden downpour in the early afternoon. Fleming-Neon Police Chief Carlus Slone, contacted by phone, said there had been water four and five feet deep on the main street.

Waterline ruptures caused by the Upper Bottom bridge construction dried the pipes of east Whitesburg residents and businesses twice this week.

July 5, 1989

The Letcher County Jail will be reduced to a 92-hourholdover facility effective August 1, forcing the county to house long-term prisoners in jails in surrounding counties.

Firefighters evacuated four homes at Letcher after a house fire ignited fear of an explosion. Letcher, Sandlick and Kingscreek fire departments responded to the blaze, which began about 11 a.m. last Tuesday in the home of Ronnie and Joyce Ball of Pratt Fork. The Balls were apparently out of state when the fire occurred and no one was injured.

“Wanted” posters targeting Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Secretary Carl Bradley are being posted throughout Kentucky by members of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.

July 7, 1999

Letcher County Judge/Executive Carroll A. Smith plans to asked members of Letcher Fiscal Court to approve a “living wage” rate of $7.50 an hour for anyone employed in Letcher County. The current minimum wage in effect in the county is the federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour.

A police raid on an indoor marijuana growing operation turned into a hike through the hills after state and federal officers discovered more than 1,500 marijuana plants growing in and around Long Branch of Linefork.

The Letcher County Fiscal Court voted 5-1 last week to draw money for its coal severance tax account to buy the “Lucas property” for a recreation area. The court will pay $410,000 for property owned by the Willie Lucas heirs and the Dawahare family.

After a couple of slow years, the demand for genuine Appalachian crafts appears to be on the upturn.

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